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Five Richmond students awarded up to $44,000

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:03 PDT, Fri July 5, 2024

Five grade 12 students in Richmond were awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $44,000. Dorothy Yuen and Taixi Wang from Hugh McRoberts Secondary, Menam Mehmood from R.C. Palmer Secondary, Mackenna Liggat from Richmond Christian Secondary School, and Kelly Huang from Richmond Secondary. These scholarships recognize promising B.C. students who have faced life challenges and adversity with determination and resilience. 

“I’m so honoured to have been chosen as a recipient. Receiving this scholarship is not only a means of achieving my dreams, but a place where I can find opportunities and connection in the years to come If you’re going into Grade 12 next year, apply! It isn’t just about the money, it’s about the support you receive and recognition for your accomplishments.” – Menam Mahmood, Richmond

“Receiving this scholarship is immense. It opens the door for my pursuit of higher education and serves as recognition of my determination and passion. I am reminded yet again that help is always around us and there is this wonderful community which continues to support students. If you are an aspiring student who faces financial adversity, look no further than Beedie Luminaries.” – Taixi Wang, Richmond

This graduation season, Ryan Beedie, through his foundation, Beedie Luminaries, awarded $7.4 million in scholarships to deserving students across B.C. The scholarships, worth up to $44,000 each for undergraduate studies and $50,000 for graduate studies, will go to 113 Grade 12 students, 13 graduate students, 14 refugee and immigrant students and 27 single parents. Since 2019, Beedie Luminaries has awarded a total of $35 million in scholarships to 792 students from communities across the province.

“Over the past five years, it has been inspiring to watch Beedie Luminaries scholarship recipients thrive, successfully complete their studies and begin their careers while overcoming many challenges in their lives,” says Ryan Beedie. “I feel strongly that cost should not be a barrier to education. That’s why we are trying to level the playing field and provide more students facing barriers with opportunities to reach new heights that may seem otherwise impossible.”

Beedie Luminaries’ SHINE (Soaring Higher IN Education) scholarship program supports promising Grade 12 students who are facing financial barriers to attending post-secondary and provides them with up to $44,000 over four years as well as additional wrap-around recources in the form of mentors, student success managers, peer support groups, paid internships and ongoing support from the Beedie Luminaries community.

This year’s SHINE scholarship recipients come from 63 high schools in 25 communities across B.C. Of these students, 50 per cent come from single-parent or legal guardian families and 31 per cent will be the first in their immediate family to pursue post-secondary education.

Since the first Beedie Luminaries scholarships were awarded in 2019, several recipients have already finished their undergraduate studies and advanced on to graduate studies or began their careers.

“Being a Beedie Luminary while navigating my BCom degree at UBC was a game-changer,” says Ivy Liao, a Beedie Luminaries scholarship recipient from Vancouver who has since completed her bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing graduate studies. “Beedie Luminaries’ comprehensive support enabled me to learn so much from my mentor, form close friendships with incredible Luminaries from various schools and disciplines, and boldly pursue my passions through clubs, internships, and opportunities I never imagined possible.”

“Studying law had interested me for years, but it always felt out of reach,” continues Liao. “Now, as a recipient of Beedie Luminaries’ Graduate Studies Award, I will be commencing my studies in the Juris Doctor Program at UBC this fall with the hope of giving back to my community of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and being an advocate for those who are unheard. Beedie Luminaries has changed my life; I am forever grateful and aspire to pay it forward.”

“Since we launched, we have heard from so many students facing barriers in their lives, each with different educational and career goals,” continues Beedie. “That’s why we expanded Beedie Luminaries to cover a spectrum of educational and training opportunities and provide support to a broader range of students. Today, we have targeted programs for high school students, single parents, refugees, graduate students and, most recently, students who want to pursue a career in the skilled trades.”

To complement Beedie Luminaries’ four existing scholarship programs (SHINE for Grade 12 students, RISE for refugees, SPARK for single parents and Grad Studies for graduate students), the organization launched BUILD in May of this year. BUILD supports students who want to learn a skilled trade by providing scholarships worth up to $20,000 towards their Red Seal accreditation and by connecting them to apprenticeship opportunities through a partnership with the Independent Contractors and Business Association.

In BUILD’s 2025 pilot cohort, only students enrolled in the carpenter, electrician, plumber, welder or sheet metal worker programs at BCIT will be eligible. In the future, Beedie Luminaries intends to expand eligibility to include all 15 public post-secondary institutions offering trades programs in B.C.

Beedie Luminaries was founded on Nov. 13, 2018 with a $50-million donation from Ryan Beedie that coincided with his 50th birthday. Since then, it has grown into one of the most comprehensive scholarship programs in Canada.

Students who are interested in applying to be part of next year’s cohort are encouraged to follow Beedie Luminaries on social media or visit beedieluminaries.ca. The application period for the 2025 cohort will open in fall 2024.

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